Teaching split digraphs
Using the letters ‘ie’, see how you can help children understand a split digraph by showing its relationship to a known grapheme. This activity uses grapheme cards, scissors and sticky pads.
Split digraph: Example session
What you'll need
- Two sets of grapheme cards for the letters 't', 'm', 'p', 'n' and 'ie'
- Reusable sticky pads.
What to do
- Ask the children to sound-talk and show fingers for the word 'tie' while one of them makes the word using the grapheme cards.
- Ask the children which letter needs to be added to the word 'tie' to make 'time'.
- Once the children come up with the correct letter ('m'), hold it up against the end of the word 'tie' making 'tiem'. Then sound-talk it and explain that this is not the correct spelling, even though there are graphemes for each phoneme. Explain that words like this are written slightly differently from the way they have previously learned.
- Cut the 'ie' grapheme card between the 'i' and the 'e'. Explain that in the word 'time', the two letters in the grapheme are separated and the final sound is then tucked in between.
- Stick the four letters onto the whiteboard using the sticky pads and draw a line joining the 'i' and the 'e'.
- Repeat steps 1 to 5 with the word 'pie', this time making it into 'pine'.
- Display or write on the whiteboard the high-frequency words that use the split digraph (e.g. 'like', 'make', 'came', 'made').